The drama club at the St. Catherine’s all girls school is struggling to put on their first play, Sophocles’ Antigone. This all-girls Catholic school in the ’90s has their work cut out for them in staging this famous tragedy but if the struggles in the play alone weren’t enough, their male director is caught in a scandal right before opening night. Playing at this year’s digital Fringe Festival, Antigone, As Presented by the Girls at St. Catherine’s (An Excerpt), presented by Monologue Slam Canada, is a coming of age story that deals with all the pitfalls of growing up.
Antigone, As Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s is directed by Tara Paterson who also plays the role of Tamsin and written by Madhuri Shekar. Despite the pitfalls of creating theatre during the pandemic, the team here has managed to deliver a fleshed-out production with blocking, scene cues, costumes by costume and stage designer Ruth Albertyn, music, and lighting. This production is only an excerpt of a longer performance.
And indeed, this is quite well done. The cast and team have worked very hard in putting this show together and their efforts have paid off. The students have very real chemistry between each other with characters that are real and relatable. Anika Zulfikar stands out as Greta, whose world is broken when their director Mr. Reed (James Smith) betrays the students’ trust; her concern for the wellbeing of her best friend Marilyn (Madeleine Kane) is palpable.
As is the performance by Smith. Although he is not meant to be liked by the audience for his transgressions, it is the scene where he is on his own and he describes wanting to do so much more with his talents, but he’s stuck teaching theatre at an all girl’s high school and couldn’t help but give in when he was shown affection, that I felt a bit of compassion for him. Not much, but it’s there.
Araceli Ferrara plays Susan, a senior who wants everyone to put on one fantastic show before she graduates but is left trying to keep the cast from unravelling. She also knows Mr. Reed better than the other girls, so his betrayal hits her deep. And then there is Kane, whose portrayal of Marilyn, a teen girl who is swept up in the fantasy of an older man taking romantic interest in her, is also quite relatable.
Overall, Antigone, As Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s is a wonderful performance and I’m looking forward to seeing the full production on stage. If this excerpt is anything to judge by, the full show will be worth the wait.
- Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s is playing on-demand at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival.
- Purchase a $5 Membership to access the On-Demand programming on the Fringe website, then Pay What You Can to each show as you go with a suggested price of $13 per show.
- Memberships can be purchased here. View the virtual on-demand show listings here.
- Accessibility notes:
- On-Demand shows: videos are closed captioned, transcripts are available for all audio content, documents are screen-reader friendly, and all digital images are provided with alternative text descriptions. These access supplements have been generated by the company and reviewed by the Festival. They may vary slightly from company to company.
- Fringe Primetime presentations will feature Auto-Transcribed Captioning.
- Content Warning: This performance contains depictions of inappropriate conduct with a minor. Viewer discretion is advised.
Photography by Araceli Ferrara